Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

Crews were out along the lakefront yesterday between the Lee and Clark Street beaches, removing small trees from about one mile of shoreline. RoundTable contributor Richard Cahan photographed Dwayne Morris (above left) and David Velez working near the Church Street Boat Ramp Wednesday morning. Something to look forward to: removing the trees will allow residents to see the lake from park benches more easily. Now, on to today’s top stories.

In school news, the ETHS board approved a new contract between administrators and the teachers union Monday, which doubles the length of guaranteed, paid parental leave for educators from six weeks to 12 weeks. Teachers will also see their salaries rise by a total of more than 5% this year and next year, and the new contract agreement also will create a brand new Racial Equity Committee with representation from educators and administrators of color.


COVID-19 by the numbers: 11 cases were reported on Tuesday, Aug. 9, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 16.9 cases per day.


Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

City to close two more beaches for the season due to limited staffing. Starting Monday, Aug. 15, only Clark and Lee Street beaches will be open to swimmers for the remainder of the summer season due to a shortage of lifeguards, many of whom are heading back to school. To make up for the lack of staff, Evanston’s Lighthouse and South Boulevard beaches will close.

Local musician helps archive Evanston’s Black musicians. For the past few years, Evanston-raised saxophonist, bandleader and composer Chris Greene has been helping his childhood friend Morris “Dino” Robinson Jr., archive records of other prominent Black musicians who, like himself, were reared in Evanston.

With restaurant’s closure in two months, Found owner Amy Morton is grateful for the community’s support. The contemporary American restaurant at 1631 Chicago Ave., which first opened in November 2012, has maintained a standout identity in the decade since. Morton told the RoundTable she credits its success to the “soul of the restaurant,” which came from the community that formed in the “quirky, windy, old space.”

Experts give advice to small Evanston landlords. Hosted by the city’s Housing & Grants Division, a webinar for small landlords held Wednesday came shortly after the new small landlord task force opened a survey to gather input for its landlord assistance program. The program will use federal ARPA funds to provide local, small landlords financial relief from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s not your mother’s dorm room. Gone are the days when a mold-free shower caddy and a fresh pair of flip flops were the only luxuries required for communal living. Dorm room outfitting has expanded in scope and sophistication and become big business – U.S. college students and their families will spend roughly $10 billion on dorm or apartment furnishings this year alone.

Picturing Evanston. Solidarity mural by Rahmaan Statik at the Oakton Elementary School on Oakton Street and Ridge Avenue. Based in Chicago, Statik also created a mural in Ingraham Park for the Juneteenth celebration in 2021. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)


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Around the web

Grand jury declines to indict woman in Emmett Till killing. According to a Tuesday news release, a Mississippi grand jury determined there was insufficient evidence to indict 87-year-old Carolyn Bryant Donham for kidnapping and manslaughter in the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy from Chicago visiting relatives in Mississippi in 1955. Donham had accused Till of harassing her before her husband and brother-in-law abducted and murdered the teenager.

‘Legal Deserts’ Create A Gap In Justice — But Local Groups Are Making Getting Help More Accessible. Many neighborhoods in Chicago, particularly low-income Black and Brown communities, don’t have sufficient access to professional legal services to help with everything from criminal defense to simply filling out a form properly. Nowadays, though, Illinois Legal Aid Online, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation and other organizations are stepping in to bridge that gap by providing free or discounted services and spreading the word through community networks.

Demand for Italian Beef Is Booming. Thank ‘The Bear.’ In case you haven’t heard of or seen the new FX/Hulu series, “The Bear” is a loud-talking, anxiety-inducing show about a struggling Italian beef joint in the River North neighborhood of Chicago. The series has become such a hit that restaurants selling Italian beef all over the country, even in Los Angeles, are seeing a spike in orders for the classic Chicago sandwich.


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Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...